"I regard music therapy as a tool of great power in many neurological disorders -- Parkinson's and Alzheimer's -- because of its unique capacity to organize or reorganize cerebral function when it has been damaged."
-Oliver Sacks, M.D., Author, Neurologist
"Music is an art that goes well beyond science. Proof can be found in the huge amount of studies that have been carried out throughout the world based on music-therapy and the important results achieved."
-Andrea Bocelli, World Renown Opera Singer
What is Music Therapy?
The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) defines music therapy as
the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.
Music therapy is a health profession in which each session is structured accordingly to suit individuals' or groups' needs, wants, and goals. Depending on the client's preferences, a session may include
playing guitar and others musical instruments together or separately,
practicing an instrument,
listening to favorite music,
analyzing song lyrics,
sharing favorite music,
discussing favorite music,
and much more.
Music therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. Both non-musical and musical goals may be established and worked towards in sessions depending on the individual's needs.
Engaging in music is fun, promotes creativity, and allows for self-expression in ways other alternative verbal therapy interventions cannot offer. Music therapy is a unique, multi-faceted, and evidence-based health profession that contributes to the enhancement of one's well-being, establishes and achieves health specific goals, and can help individuals flourish to their full potential. To learn more click here.
The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) states
"After assessing the strengths and needs of each client, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context, clients' abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their lives.
Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words. Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people's motivation to become engaged in their treatment, providing emotional support for clients and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings."
For more information about music therapy and its health benefits and to see Frequently Asked Questions people often have please visit the American Music Therapy Association's website here www.musictherapy.org.
How Does it Work?
What Does a Music Therapy Session Look Like?
Because music therapy sessions are specifically catered to each individual--depending on his or her needs--no two music therapy sessions look exactly alike. Just as no two people are exactly alike, there is no "one size fits all" music therapy session. There are, however, some commonalities between music therapy sessions.
Board Certified Music Therapists always assess the client and their needs, similarly to how a physical therapist might assess their clients to determine which area of the body should be focused on and rehabilitated. After assessing the client, the music therapist determines what non-musical and/or musical goals will be worked towards in order to enhance the client's well-being and foster growth, ultimately working towards flourishing and ensuring the client reaches their fullest potentials.
Music therapy interventions can be designed to:
Improve Socialization Skills
Promote Physical Rehabilitation
The American Music Therapy Association provides a few examples of what a music therapist can accomplish when music therapy sessions are provided. They include:
*Work with Congresswoman Giffords to regain her speech after surviving a bullet wound to her brain.
*Work with older adults to lessen the effects of dementia.
*Work with children and adults to reduce asthma episodes.
*Work with hospitalized patients to reduce pain.
*Work with children who have autism to improve communication capabilities.
*Work with premature infants to improve sleep patterns and increase weight gain.
*Work with people who have Parkinson’s disease to improve motor function.
Who Can Benefit from Music Therapy?
In short, everybody!
Music therapy research shows that music therapy helps reduce anxiety, promote relaxation, reduce feelings of depression, increase communication, increase socialization, promote self-expression, provide a creative outlet for one to express oneself, and much more. These are just a few of the many benefits music therapy has to offer. A list of populations that benefit from music therapy and research that shows its efficacy can be found here.
If you - or someone you love - are seeking therapy to enhance your well-being and live a healthier, more fulfilled life, consider a Board Certified Music Therapist today.
All of the therapists here at Flourish Music Therapy have completed programs approved by The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). Upon successful completion of academic and clinical training, our therapists had to pass a certifying exam administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) which qualifies them to practice nationally. A number of states, including New York, also require licensure for advanced practice.